The time of year where coins are made of chocolate, wine is mulled and over-indulging is encouraged. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

That came around quick didn’t it? Felt like just the other day we were breaking our New Years resolutions. In this blog we hope to unveil things happening this Christmas you aren’t going to want to miss and give you enough reasons to encourage you to give the gift of local this year. From arts markets to festivals, hot chocolates to cheese boards, Christmas is all about sharing and we hope to share some special things to do this time of the year. Look past the red cups, the gingerbread flavoured beverages and the sparkly big red truck and you’ll uncover a treasure trove of activities, events and present ideas that are unique, just like you, for you.

DRINK BAILEY’S AT OUR OWN CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

Oh c’mon, we had to slip this in. We’re having a Christmas festival in the Baltic Triangle from 8th-11th December. Expect the best food in the city, a winter garden, independent gift market, local bands and a Bailey’s bar. Grab your tickets here. They do say put on some extra layers for winter, this is the perfect way.

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SPEND AN AFTERNOON AT A WINTER ARTS MARKET

Merseyside’s largest arts and crafts market, the Winter Arts Market will return for an eighth year on Saturday 3 December 2016. Staged this year in the breathtaking surroundings of Liverpool Cathedral the market will see this incredible space, one of the most beautiful in the city, transformed into a bustling independent shopping experience that’s the perfect place to pick up unique Christmas gifts. All info here.

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GO SUPPORT ARTISANS IN THE PALM HOUSE

Join the artistans for their 4th Winter Celebration at the Palm House and immerse yourself in three days of pure indulgence. Sharing with you up to 300 independent creatives over 3 days, this is your opportunity to purchase everything on your “wish” list. The 25th November 2016 will be a shopping evening with a heated marquee, music, street foods & prosecco bar complete with handcrafted ales. The 26th & 27th November will be full of surprises & suitable for every member of your family. More here.

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DEVOUR A CHEESEBOARD

Is it OK to like cheese more than most people? We hope so. We’ve created a blog for the people who laugh at chocolate fudge cake being a serious option instead of a cheeseboard and for those who order a sharing cheeseboard knowing full well they won’t be doing any sharing. Read it here.

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VISIT THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS

The markets have moved this year to the rather idyllic and iconic setting of St George’s Hall courtyard. We hugely approve of this and we think those arriving at Lime Street will too. Go grab a crepe. They’re open from now until 22nd December, all info here.

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EAT THIS PIZZA FROM SANTA MALUCO

Putting the Santa in Santa Claus, the pizza masters behind Maluco have devised a festive pizza. Full of turkey, cranberry sauce and yes, that’s right, pigs in blankets. All on a pizza. What a world we live in. Did you know Independent Liverpool cardholders also get 20% off unlimited pizza?

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WATCH A CHRISTMAS FILM AT SEFTON PARK PALM HOUSE

Join us under the stars of Liverpool to watch the stars of Hollywood. We’ve teamed up with Sefton Park Palm House to show some Christmas classics in a stunning setting. Most tickets have sold out, there’s a small amount here and some paper tickets at Bold Street Coffee. All info here.

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FOLLOW A SNOWFLAKE TRAIL

From 1 December – 3 January Liverpool city centre will be transformed into a festive spectacle by the return of the Snowflake Trail; the city’s very own winter festival of spectacular light and sound that will capture the imagination of young and old alike. Follow the trail of local landmarks transformed by dazzling lights, swirling soundscapes and interactive illustrations and see sculptural snowflakes decorated by some of the region’s most exciting visual artists. To take part, pick up a trail map from 1 December at participating retailers around the city centre, and solve the simple clue to win incredible prizes this Christmas.

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EAT THESE MULLED WINE BROWNIES

Mulled wine brownies. Our three favourite things. Laura’s Little Bakery really is a genius. You can grab them at our Christmas festival. Info here.

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GRAB YOURSELF A FESTIVE PIE FROM HOMEBAKED ANFIELD

You either likes pies or you’re wrong. It’s braided within the very Northern DNA to love them. With their flaky pastry, quality ingredients and gravy soaked centre. Homebaked is much more than a pie, it’s a co-op in Anfield proving the area is much more than a place where a ball is kicked around.

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GIVE THE GIFT OF LOCAL

From the handmade to the heartfelt, one of the best things you can do in this life is give the gift of local and support local artists. Lord knows Liverpool is full of them. We recommend going to Rex: The Concept Store or Arts Hub 47 on Lark Lane for a good mooch, there’s an uncountable amount of local brands. Resurrection and Weavers Door are a great place for clothes. Utility is full of interesting and quirky products and there’s lots of local markets happening. We’d also recommend Jazz Stan and Sarah Illustration.

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STOCK UP ON CHEESE

Liverpool loves cheese so much there’s an entire shop dedicated to it. The Liverpool Cheese Company holds a special place in ours and many other’s hearts in Liverpool. Why? Well, cheese. The boutique little shop lays snugly in Woolton Village and sees line out of the shop most day. Wonder why? Take a look at this picture.

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TAKE ON THE “FAT SANTA” BURGER

Rookwood Bar And ‘Cue. have taken all the great things about Christmas and wedged them between two buns. Buttermilk fried turkey, goose fat roast potatoes, oozing Brie, bacon and a shot of Bloody Mary. Cheers to that.

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CHECK OUT THE POP-UP SHOP ON A BOAT IN THE ALBERT DOCK

The historic ship has recently been restored with help from the Heritage Lottery and is a charity which is now a tourist attraction for Liverpool. The Daniel Adamson steam ship is now happily located at Liverpool’s iconic Albert Dock by The Pumphouse pub, near to the Maritime Museum until the end of 2016 and will be hosting a series of pop-up events for local artists to show off their wares. More here.

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DRINK HOT CHOCOLATE

In the words of the Welsh wizard and all-round sex bomb, Tom Jones “Baby it’s cold outside”. Now a quick Google or an NHS brochure may suggest you put an extra layer on, sit close to the radiator and all other reasonable suggestions but we have never been a fan of reasonable. Take this Tolberone loaded hot chocolate from Barley & Beans for example, it’s everything you never knew you needed. Find out some of the best in the city here.

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VISIT SHREK AT ST GEORGE’S HALL

Come and meet Shrek, Alex, Po and friends at DreamWorks Lights this Christmas, encompassing over 100 spectacular figures of your favourite characters and 25 enlightening and memorable scenes based on three major DreamWorks feature film productions – Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. This illuminating lantern experience is arriving in the UK for the very first time and opens at St. George’s Hall on Saturday 26th November, running through until Sunday 15th January. More here.

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GRAB YOURSELF AN INDEPENDENT LIVERPOOL CARD

Got your key to the city yet? Packed with discounts and deals at over 100 of Liverpool’s best indies, we believe this might be the greatest stocking filler in the city. Biased aside, of course. We’re talking discounts at Amalia, Free State Kitchen, Lucha Libre, East Avenue Bakehouse, Santa Maluco, 92 Degrees Coffee and lots more. We are running an extra special Christmas deal from 1st December ’til the 12th so look out for it. For a full list of participating venues, click here.

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BUY THIS BAUBLE

No Christmas tree in Liverpool and beyond should be without this beautiful bauble designed by Freida Mckitrick. You can grab it at One Art Liverpool’s pop up shop at Cass Art on 18 School Lane. But be quick, they’re in high demand.

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AND THIS CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT

Well, you can’t have the bauble without the Liverbird ornament. Mockup Goods Co have made an array of beautiful ornaments with Christmassy Liverpool landmarks and they’re all stunning. Grab them also at the One Art pop up shop in Cass Art on School Lane.

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EXPERIENCE SOMETHING MAGICAL AT THE TOWN HALL

Christmas dinner but not like you know it. It has been self proclaimed as ‘cirque meets Vegas for the Scouse generation’ and guests can expect a Cirque Du Soleil style cabaret dinner show in between the meals. Beats the usual interlude of an argument between the uncles. In between the exquisite five course meal there will be entertainment so fierce and enthralling that not even your granddad would fall asleep. All info here.

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HEAD ON DOWN TO THE ANNUAL HEEBIE JEEBIES WINTER FAYRE

On Saturday 3rd December, Heebies are celebrating Christmas early with a spectacular Winter Fayre. Over the last 3 years, Heebie Jeebies have had a whole host of festivals involving some of the city’s most exciting independent businesses and this year’s Winter Fayre is going to take it all to a whole new level with 3 floors of crafts, gifts, live music, food, tattooists, taxidermy… and of course some very special Christmas drinks. More here.

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ROCK ON DOWN TO THE BEAUTY & THE BEAST ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PANTO

Regular writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton have adapted the traditional fairy tale that will be ‘Simply the Beast’ panto around. Legendary double-act Adam Keast and Francis Tucker will be back once again bringing you to your feet to dance, cheer and avoid a soaking. With a live band, plenty of belly laughs and more than a few surprises Beauty & the Beast is the perfect festive treat. So dig out your laughing trousers, break out the glitter and wave your flashing wand as the legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll panto shakes, rattles and growls at the Everyman once more. Tickets.

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PUT ON SOME EXTRA LAYERS WITH FESTIVE PUNK TEA

Christmas is all about making great memories with the people you like and love. There is no better way to do this than having great food in a lovely cosy place like The Baltic Social. Their punk tea has become bucket list worthy and their festive version looks pretty epic. You had us at Prosecco.

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GO DIGGING FOR TREASURE AT HOBO BAZAAR WINTER FLEAMARKET

Hobo Bazaar, Liverpool’s newest flea market based in The Great Baltic Warehouse in The Baltic Triangle plays host to a range of local traders from across the city. They’ve created a market of curiosities, magical finds, collectibles, vintaged and preloved all sorts including furniture, homeware, clothing and accessories. Don’t miss it!

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SUPPORT LOCAL AT THE KAZIMIER FESTIVE ARKADE

Live music, hot food, warm drinks, local brewers, doers, makers and bakers all congregating in our main venue space for a seasonal indoor market-party. The Invisible Wind Factory will host a seasonal Festive Arkade market on Sunday 11th December, in the spirit of the Kazimier club’s Christmas Kazmarts over the past few winters. More info here.

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WATCH LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD WOLF AT UNITY THEATRE

The family-friendly Christmas show, perfect for ages 5+ and their families, runs from 2 December – 7 January. The production continues Unity Theatre’s successful partnership with Action Transport Theatre and the show promises to offer the usual fun and laughter with music, dance and song. Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf is a bold re-telling of the well-known classic tale, Little Red Riding Hood and will explore the thrill of adventure versus the safety of staying on the path. More here.

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STAY MERRY WITH CHRISTMAS COCKTAILS

We mightn’t be speaking for everyone when we say this but a good part of Christmas is a good drink in even better company. From the Bailey’s to the whisky, there’s nothing quite like being merry. There are a few cocktails bar putting on some special drinks this year for those who love a tipple. Below is Santa Chupitos, we’ve got our eye on the After Eight. Red Door also have a new festive cocktail menu launching and Furnival’s Well has a fantastic list of drinks for you to try when they open. Remember, always drink responsibly with irresponsible people.

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EAT CAKE AT CAMP AND FURNACE

Known for throwing parties to end all parties, Camp and Furnace are embracing Christmas big time with their Mega Trad Xmas celebrations which as you’d expect includes some awesome food and drink (you may want to renew that lapsed gym memberships at this point.) Like a list of festive loveliness they’re serving up some pretty special dishes including a droolsome desserts of spiced toffee apple sticky pudding smothered in vanilla butterscotch. The brilliant soundtrack will come in the form of Christmas Rockaoke, where you’ll get the chance to take to the stage and belt out some festive favourites. More here.
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SANTA’S GROTTO AT LIVERPOOL TOWN HALL

The brilliant and beautiful Liverpool Town Hall have got the real Father Christmas every weekend from Saturday November 21st. On Monday 14th December it turns daily until Wednesday December 23rd. It is open 10am to 5pm with last entry at 4.30pm.

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TOAST TO MAD HATTER’S NEW BREWERY

The legendary micro-brewery that is not so micro any more are moving premises and expanding, and you are invited to come and see their new site. They’ll be open from 12 til 7pm on Saturday 10th December and there will be bottle gift packs, cases of beer, food, a live DJ and a draft bar. It’d be rude not to have a beer and support local, wouldn’t it?

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FILL YOUR CUPBOARDS AT FARMERS MARKETS

There’s nothing quite like an afternoon where you can potter between stalls and go from delicious produce to delicious produce. The freshest and best quality with a little bit of indulgence thrown in for good measure is the recipe for a good day. Whether you’re after meats, cheeses, fruit and veg or cakes, there’s a few farmers market days you need to add to your diary. Lark Lane farmers market is on the fourth Saturday of every month.

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BUY SOMETHING TIMELESS AT THE VINTAGE FAIR AT THE CRYPT

The UK’s favourite travelling vintage marketplace, Judy’s returns to Liverpool this December, with over 40 of the nation’s leading vintage traders. In typical Judy’s fashion, you can expect ‘knock your socks off’ stock, one off discounts and rails packed with affordable vintage from 1920s onwards. Each event is packed with an eclectic array of fashion, homewares, accessories and collectables. More here.

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DRINK (OR CHEW) THIS FESTIVE FREAK SHAKE

Interesting Eating Co have got in the festive mood with a freak shake to end all freak shakes. It’s got Nutella, crushed candy canes, cream, chocolate stars and more. Isn’t it just beautiful?

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